Texas doctor and nurses braved winter storm to help baby born at 24 weeks

MARBLE FALLS, Texas -- A Texas mom went into premature labor last week in the midst of the devastating storm that paralyzed the state. But due to their remote location and inability to travel to a NICU, a group of doctors created a mobile unit for the baby.

The doctors went the extra mile, literally, as they drove for an hour from Austin to Marble Falls to make sure the baby was properly cared for.

"I started freaking out," said the newborn's mom Kimberly Arias. "I started crying. I didn't know what to do."

Arias' baby was welcomed into the world at just 24 weeks, which is a level that doctors say a baby is going to normally need NICU care.

Dr. Curtis Copeland, a family physician with Baylor Scott and White in Marble Falls, told KVUE that usually a patient is transferred to intensive care before the baby is born or immediately after. But in this case, baby Zalynn had already arrived and any kind of transfer seemed impossible as the winter storm covered the roads with snow and ice.

"No one was able to come because of the weather, because of ice, because of the snow. So helicopters couldn't fly. Ambulances were having difficulty," Copeland said.

It was in this situation that Dr. John Loyd and medical workers Kelly Clause and Nicole Padden with Dell Children's Medical Center came to the rescue.

"I knew there was a mother out there. I knew there was a health care team out there. It was not equipped to take care of such a fragile baby. It was having to try and do that. And as a parent, as a provider, I just I couldn't on my watch not do something," said Loyd.

Baby Zalynn was eventually transferred to a NICU and now her chances of survival increase every day, thanks to two teams of healthcare workers, who came together as one.

"They made me feel like my baby was really safe and in good hands. Honestly, like I didn't get much sleep, but the few hours I got, I could be calm because I knew someone was there with my baby," Arias said.
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